• Meet the Characters in ‘Visual Liberties’ an excerpt by Alec Clayton

    Bitsey Calling Bitsey Ashton a square peg in a round hole would be like saying the Titanic was a motorboat that sprang a leak. Bitsey is more like a trapezoid with razor edges, capable of drilling herself into any hole of any shape no matter how big or little. She’s now middle aged with grown daughters. At least the daughters think they’re grown; Bitsey is not so sure about her youngest, Molly, a brand new freshman at Mississippi University for Women on the Gulf Coast. Big sister Jamie Lew married Abdul Taylor and is living in New Orleans. Those sharp edges of Bitsey’s have been sanded smooth by hard times…

  • Clogs and Gold Lame Tube Tops by Christina Wheeler

    Before I attended Catholic school I grew up with MTV. I headbanged and threw up the devil horns like a heathen child in my crib when Cum on Feel the Noize came on. I loved Ozzy. I couldn’t help it. My parents were barely twenty when they had me. My mother would wear tube tops with no bra, the cotton barely hiding the shape of her nipples. A sight I would grow to become uncomfortable with by the time I was ten. Her shiny blue eye shadow matched the glint of the metal of her power wheelchair and, if she was moving at her top speed of eight miles an…

  • A Feather for a Fan (excerpt) by Karla Stover

    Chapter 1 Fog rolled down from Canada and pressed against the smoke from a Northern Pacific engine, obliterating the view of old growth timber on one side of the tracks and Commencement Bay on the other. Inside the stuffy passenger car, Verdie Bacom sighed and waited for her two oldest children, Mathilda, eleven and Reuben, ten, to start whining. It was the view that had kept them entertained for the past several hours. Instead, they pressed their noses against the glass trying to penetrate the murky haze. Next to her, Verdie’s husband, Ira, gave a deep hacking cough and immediately covered his mouth with his handkerchief. At Verdie’s sideways glance,…

  • Love On the Beach – An Excerpt from The Backside of Nowhere by Alec Clayton

    Sue Ellen was his first love. He can recall every moment they spent together, especially the first times they made love. The first time was after a football game when they were juniors in high school. In the front seat of his daddy’s car. He’s pretty sure it ranked as the most disastrous firsts ever. He pulled his daddy’s Pontiac onto the beach and yanked up the parking break. He cranked the driver side window down an inch or two to let in some of the cool fall air, and they faced each other and said, “Okay, here we are. Let’s do it.” He scooted out from under the steering…

  • The Case of the Tree Spirit by Teresa Carol

    I sat entranced across the table from the golden-haired lady who was explaining to me in detail the unusual occurrences she had witnessed at her home. I was surprised at how extremely beautiful she was. It was not the normal beauty that many women have, rather it seemed almost supernatural. Her hair was like spun silk which shimmered in the bright light of the coffee shop. Her skin seemed to glow with soft dew-like moisture. She was small in frame and light in body. I guessed that she was around fifty years of age. “Your skin is so lovely,” I interrupted, “Do you mind if I ask what you use.”…

  • Bill at the Bible Study By Dave Engel

    Bill walks up to the door and presses the doorbell. The doorbell says, “Ding dong,” and ushers in our hostess. Oh Karen, her little Bible Study. The diligently prepared desserts and Columbian coffees. Oh how she loves to play grown-up and entertain a host of… ding dong, time to fetch the door! So in comes Bill to be greeted by a group of grasping hands, all teeth and gums with welcomes to share. Bill’s eyes slide down to the super-fashionable, ultra-religious, “Jesus” bracelets that loudly ask a question meant to probe one’s heart. And yet this marketable statement of faith somehow doesn’t probe Bill, he’s just left wondering if the…

  • Excerpt of Nightlife Interrupted by Robert Hazelton

    The game was a bust. Those punk ass brats were on it and my dice went on strike. I’ve never heard a ten-sided die tell me to fuck off in such a meaningful way. I had better luck with Ophelia and considering how our conversation went, I was doomed the second I sat down at the table. My poor minis and I should’ve bowed out after the first blow to my ego. I wasn’t that smart. At ten o’clock, I was brooding behind the counter over my failures when I really started to think about Ophelia. She was right about Meredith, I had no idea why I was made. The…

  • Into the Storm – An excerpt from The Backside of Nowhere By Alec Clayton edited for Creative Colloquy

    Sheriff Randy Moss is an uninvited guest at Pop Lawrence’s hurricane party. He says, “Oh, hi. Um, Shelly asked me to come in.” Not everyone returns his greeting. David and Mary refuse to speak to him. Melissa turns her back and walks into the kitchen, brushing right past him, pours herself a big shot of straight whiskey and swigs it down, and then pours herself another and carries it down the hallway. She goes into a bedroom and kicks the door shut behind her. A huge crack of thunder shakes the house. Outside the sky is almost as dark as night, but floodlights aimed at the front walk and out…

  • Coming Down The Mountain, Excerpt from the forthcoming book, THE HERMIT by Gabriel Roberts

    My poor bike was covered in ice for days on end and it took some time for it to warm up.  I had moved it before the first snow into a shelter that was being used to dry out the weed.  Before I could even get to the road, I would have to travel three quarters of a mile through foot deep untouched snow up a hill.  Trying to do this with my motorcycle alone, packed with a fully loaded bike and 50 lb backpack was simply impossible.  My boss pulled their quad up to my bike and wrapped a car towing strap around the front forks of my bike. …

  • One of Time, an excerpt for a work in progress by William Turbyfill

    “I guess we’ll have to have class indoors then.” This was not the first time Professor Clifford Barrow made this joke but his students laughed just the same. Despite his tendency to be a bit of a recluse and his inability to make a good joke, Professor Barrow was well respected. Some of his students even liked him. The class room was bright which stood in stark contrast to the rain and darkness outside. Before Clifford arrived on the planet, he did not realize that when they say it always rains on Ravis, they mean it always rains on Ravis. The sun never broke through the constant rainstorm and the…